Movie Monday: Kick Something

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kicka.JPGWe just knew a certain unmentionable film was going to rule the box office come Monday. We just assumed that Kick-A– and its band of R-rated superheroes was going to charge into theaters and win the weekend. I mean, really: Who wants to tangle with a profane, purple-wigged, 11-year-old death jockey?

Turns out, though, Hit-Girl et al ran up against a horde of grizzled dragons—and we all know that it’s a mistake to tangle with largish, fire-breathing reptiles. While we don’t have the weekend’s final figures yet, preliminary estimates suggest that DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon—in its fourth week of release—won the weekend’s box office crown in a squeaker, $20 million to $19.8 million. Date Night and newcomer Death at a Funeral were in a neck-and-neck squabble for third.

Even if Kick-A– eventually claims victory after all the receipts are counted, the folks at Lionsgate must be sorely disappointed. Most folks were predicting the film would snag in the neighborhood of $30 million. Which begs the question: What went wrong?

I can’t help but wonder whether the title alone was enough to turn some folks off. If that wasn’t enough, maybe moviegoers weren’t that interested in seeing an elementary-age girl spit profanities while skewering bad guys with knives. Sure, Kick-A– is the sort of film fanboys salivate over, but maybe most Americans still like their superheroes to be … well, heroic.

Which makes Kick-A–, in a way, so strangely tragic. Because at its core, that’s what the film’s about: Everyday people trying to make a difference. Underneath its violence and gore and profanity and sheer ugginess, there was a good story wanting to be told.

Instead, Kick-A– got mired in a ludicrous amount of content and left it vulnerable to—well, a good story. For this week, at least, dragons win. And I, for one, couldn’t be happier.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  kady82:

Thanks to your coments, I'm taking my three nephews ages 17, 15 and 13 to see How to Train Your Dragon this weekend. Any other good movies out there for this age group?

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Greg71:

I was happy to see At The Movies critics Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott give this movie a thumbs down for the very reasons Plugged In did. Hopefully, the movie studios will take notice that even mainstream critics are not impressed by gratuitous violence or a foul mouthed, 11 year old killer.I'm also happy to see more people are going to How To Train Your Dragon. I commented on the movie when it first came out but was disappointed by the complete lack of responses. It is good to know more people have been checking out this terrific family film.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  LC268:

I agree ; I recently saw Dragons, and I was very impressed. Besides the amazing 3D animation, the story was refreshingly void of excessive objectionable content that shows up in most "family" movies. This is one example of a movie that blends humor, action, and friendship into an original story line that appeals to both kids and adults. Unfortunately, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. I am constantly disappointed when I see previews for movies that look interesting and original, but turn out to be far too offensive to even consider watching (thank you, Plugged In reviewers). Doesn't Hollywood realize that they are alienating many potential viewers (and customers) by making movies that push the limits of decency?

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Superheroine:

I haven't seen Kick-Booty, nor do I plan to, but I've gathered enough of the plot from both your review and what a fanboy told me. And boy, was it disturbing. I have a 12-year-old sister. She's pretty, sweet and very innocent. I can't imagine her willingly killing someone. Frankly, I have to wonder what was wrong with that fanboy that he would think an 11-year-old girl ending lives with glee is funny.

I did, however, see How to Train Your Dragon with my brother and sister, and all three of us loved it. It was funny, clever, exciting and heartwarming--at its core a good story well-told, free of off-color jokes and pop culture references (they're only funny the first time). Hearing that it beat out Kick-Derriere gave me an inexplicable sense of victory. Go family-friendly movies! Down with superheroes who aren't really heroes!